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Dozens killed as Yemeni army, allies launch missile strike on Saudi-led forces in Ma’rib

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this file picture, Yemeni tribesmen hold their weapons as they chant slogans during a tribal gathering showing support for the popular Ansarullah movement, in Sana’a, Yemen. (Photo by AP)

Yemeni army forces and allied fighters from Popular Committees have launched a missile strike against Saudi-sponsored militants in Yemen's strategic central province of Ma’rib, killing and wounding dozens of them in the process.

Yemeni military sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Arabic-language al-Khabar al-Yemeni news website that the missile struck with precision a gathering of Saudi-led military forces on Monday as they were gearing up for deployment to battle fronts.

The sources added that a number of senior Saudi-led mercenaries were killed or wounded as a result.

They noted that the main hospital in Ma’rib city has declared a state of emergency, and mobilized its doctors and medical staff amid the high number of casualties.

This comes as the head of the office of former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi said on Friday the Saudi-backed figure is ready for direct negotiations with Ansarullah officials over situation in Ma’rib.

“Clashes in Mar’ib have claimed the lives of some 240 members of our forces, and left nearly 5,000 others injured since last January,” Lebanon-based al-Mayadeen television quoted Abdullah al-Alimi as saying.

Alimi asserted that Hadi loyalists have agreed to the opening of Sana’a airport, further alleging that the former Yemeni administration was not represented during the recent negotiations in the Omani capital city of Muscat.

Yemeni forces seize several military positions in Najran

Separately, Yemeni army troops and their allies have taken control of a number of military sites and fortifications belonging to Saudi forces and their mercenaries in the al-Dahra area of Saudi Arabia’s southern region of Najran.

The Lebanon-based and Arabic-language al-Akhbar daily newspaper, citing unnamed military sources, reported that Yemeni troops and Popular Committees fighters carried out a military operation in the area the previous day, and managed to seize al-Khawar heights in al-Ajashar district.

The heights are reportedly 28 kilometers (17 miles) away from the Yemeni border with Najran, and the offensive apparently inflicted great human losses on the Saudi army forces and their loyalists.

Saudi Arabia, backed by the US and other regional allies, launched the bloody war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing Hadi’s government back to power and crushing Ansarullah. 

Yemeni armed forces and allied Popular Committees have, however, gone from strength to strength against the Saudi-led invaders, and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.

The Saudi-led military aggression has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead, and displaced millions of people. It has also destroyed Yemen's infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases across the country.

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